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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, January 04, 2019

CAGW Names Kamala Harris 2018 Porker of the Year

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris
Democrat, California
2018 Porker of the Year
(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the results of its online poll for the 2018 Porker of the Year. There were five worthy candidates who were guilty of promoting patently flawed policies, defending wasteful boondoggles, and pushing a big-spending agenda.

After the votes were tallied, the dishonor went to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), with 38 percent of the vote, a double-digit victory over the runner-up, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), whose absurd proposal to bring back pork-barrel earmarks earned him 27 percent.


Her bill would have encouraged the same behaviors that led to the student loan bubble. A February 2017 study by the New York Federal Reserve found that as students took out larger federally-subsidized loans, colleges and universities hiked tuition, blunting the benefits for students and increasing the burden on taxpayers. The same would be true in the rental market. Tenants would be incentivized to rent the most expensive allowable properties and landlords would be able to spike rents without facing a financial downside because taxpayers would foot the increased bill. Conservative estimates put the price of the subsidy at $76 billion per year, and those costs would surely rise, like other federal programs intended to help the poor.
The Tax Foundation concluded that Sen. Harris’s plan, “would fail to address the root causes of the high cost of housing. Instead, it would wind up benefiting landlords, not significantly improving the lives of renters, and carrying a hefty price tag.” University of Georgia economics professor Jeffrey Dorfman wrote, “Instead of the Rent Relief Act, we could call it the Landlord Enrichment and Taxpayer Fleecing Act.”

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “We would like to thank the taxpayers who voted for all of the ‘worthy’ candidates. Senator Harris’s proposal is a prime example of the fiscal foolishness that flourishes in Washington, D.C. and rightly earns her the distinction of 2018 Porker of the Year.”
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Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Year is a dubious honor given to a lawmaker, government official, or political candidate who has shown the most blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers throughout the year.

Tags: Citizens Against Government Waste, CAGW, Porker of the Year, 2018, U.S. Senator, Kamala Harris, Democrat, California, encouraged the same behaviors, that led to the student loan bubble, price of the subsidy, $76 billion per year
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Court Pulls Rank on Military Trans Ban

by Tony Perkins: Activist judges have been on a mission to expand the influence of the courts in America for the last half-century, but they may have just crossed a red line. The courts have decided a lot of things -- but how the president runs the military isn't one of them. When it comes to America's defense, there is one commander-in-chief. The Constitution is clear: Donald Trump is the final authority on military policy. And after two years of liberal judges presuming to know better than this president, it's refreshing to see at least one court acknowledge who's in charge.

After a year and a half of fighting judicial activists for power that's been his all along, President Trump finally won a victory in his push to end social experimentation in the military. Seventeen months after he first rolled back Barack Obama's transgender troop policy, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed that it was within his prerogative to do so. With a deference that's almost extinct these days, three judges (including an Obama appointee) sided with the administration, saying that it had done its due diligence in researching the policy and its effects.

Attorneys for GLAAD, of course, insisted that the president's decision wasn't rooted in science but bigotry. The court disagreed, saying the government had taken "substantial steps" to justify the president's position. "These included the creation of a panel of military and medical experts, the consideration of new evidence gleaned from the implementation of the policy on the service of transgender individuals instituted by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter... and a reassessment of the priorities of the group that produced the Carter Policy." For the Left to argue that there was nothing but prejudice behind Trump's decision is just plain untrue. There is nothing discriminatory, the DOJ pointed out, about acknowledging the consequences of gender dysphoria on our military's effectiveness.

Honestly, this isn't a question of fairness -- it's a question of fitness. The president isn't banning people who identify as transgender because he hates them. He's banning people who identify as transgender for the same reason the military doesn't allow 71 percent of Americans to serve. Because either they're too old and unhealthy, or our country can't afford the distraction that medical, mental, or behavioral issues cause. That's why there are literally hundreds of conditions or physical limitations disqualifying people from military service. So many, in fact, that your fingers will get numb scrolling through them all.

The Left seems to think that there's a "right" for people to serve in the military. There isn't. When it comes to keeping America secure, only the strongest and brightest will do. Does that make the military exclusionary? Yes. But the Pentagon isn't in the business of equality. It's in the business of fighting and winning wars. If that hurts feelings, so be it. Either the military's priority is protecting America -- or it's helping people on the path to self-actualization. It can't do both.

The courts, this panel writes, "'must be particularly careful not to substitute our judgment of what is desirable for that of [the executive and legislative branches], or our own evaluation of evidence for [their] reasonable evaluation' because '[i]t is difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.'" If anyone's opinion matters, it's the people who understand our mission best: the men and women in uniform. And, as of yesterday, 61 percent of them agree with their commander-in-chief's policy on transgenderism. If they trust him, shouldn't Americans too?

As FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) pointed out, this is, above all, a "victory for our service members, who are tasked with defending America." For once, "it allows our military to focus their mission on fighting and winning wars rather than social engineering." Hopefully, he went on, this ruling will help "pave the way for President Trump to continue moving the military away from Obama era political correctness which left our nation's defenses at its lowest levels of readiness since before WWII. We trust that other appeals courts and the Supreme Court will agree -- and leave the responsibility for keeping our military strong and country safe where it belongs: with our commander-in-chief."
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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Court Pulls Rank, Military Trans Ban, Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

General Jim Mattis: An American Patriot

by Newt Gingrich: General Jim Mattis has served his country for his entire life. He is one of the most important and respected military leaders of the last half-century.

He also has the distinction of being the only person I know who has been fired by both Presidents Obama and Trump. In both cases, it was to the administration’s – and the country’s – detriment. However, in both cases, General Mattis also knew his duty was to the United States. That made him feel comfortable in disagreeing with his commander in chief.
I first knew General Mattis during the Iraq war under President George W. Bush, when Mattis was part of the Marine detachment in Kuwait. I was immediately impressed. I later watched him continually adjust and adapt in the battle of Fallujah, which led him to a decisive victory.

His 44-year career as a Marine, which began when he enlisted in 1969 at age 18, has been stunning. He led Marine forces on the ground in some of the most dangerous places on the planet – including Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001. His success eventually led him to become the Commander of all Marine Forces in the Middle East and later the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, NATO’s Supreme Allied Command for Transformation, and U.S. Central Command. His non-combat service for the Department of Defense has been equally impressive.

I have greatly enjoyed and deeply appreciated working with him as he has served as U.S. Secretary of Defense. Few people alive today have embodied valor, courage, and sheer patriotism that matches General Jim Mattis.

One of my fondest memories with General Mattis was drinking wine and talking with him for a few hours after a meeting with then-Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. When I told Mattis about my grandson’s fascination with Waterloo, he told me that he had never fully understood the conflict until he had read the Sharpe novel series by Bernard Cornwell about a British officer fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, which I passed on to my grandson.

I have come to know General Mattis as a remarkable intellectual – and perhaps the best-read officer the Marine Corps has ever produced.

The respect for him at the Department of Defense is tremendous. The respect he has garnered around the world – from both our allies and enemies is breathtaking. Anyone who questions his patriotism or service is simply wrong.

General Jim Mattis is an American patriot. We should all be deeply thankful for the lifetime of service he has devoted to our country – and saddened that his service as Secretary of Defense has come to an end.
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Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, General Jim Mattis, An American Patriot To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Day One, Trump Speaks

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Day One - Yesterday was a big day in Washington. As newly-elected members of Congress were sworn in, control of the House of Representatives flipped from Republican to Democrat.

While this is usually a run-of-the-mill process, a lot of things happened yesterday that should concern anyone who cherishes American values and who was hoping for compromise from the new Congress.
  • Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) refused to take her oath of office on the Bible. Instead she used a law book. I don't know which law book, but I do know this: Long after the senator and whatever book she took her oath on are gone, the word of God will endure.
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) took her oath on what she called "Jefferson's Koran." She said, "Some of our Founding Fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress now." Obviously she doesn't know very much. Jefferson got a translation of the Koran so he could understand the Islamic Barbary Pirates against whom he would later, as president, wage war. Thus the phrase, "To the shores of Tripoli" in the Marines' Hymn. But she is probably right -- the Founders understood what many elites today do not: Radical Islam is a deadly threat to freedom.
  • Unfortunately, Tlaib wasn't done. She later went to a reception sponsored by the radical group MoveOn.org. Referring to a conversation she had with her young son about her election, Rep. Tlaib declared, "We're gonna go in there and impeach the motherf---er.'"
  • And there's more. The world map on the wall in Rep. Tlaib's office had a Post-It note on it labeled "Palestine" over the state of Israel.
  • Rep. Tlaib is not the only newly elected member of Congress who is hostile to Israel. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) lied to her constituents about her support for efforts to boycott and sanction Israel. The election of these two Muslim women, along with socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), has been hailed by cultural and media elites as "the wave of the future." Just to be clear, they are celebrating the victory of anti-Semites. Some future.
  • Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) posted the transgender flag outside of her office. (Yes, they have a flag.)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.
  • Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump.
  • Not to be out done, Nancy Pelosi made history herself by becoming the first woman to become Speaker of the House twice. And the first bill she pushed through the House late last night was an appropriation bill that gave an additional $12 billion in foreign aid to multiple countries and provided more money to promote abortions overseas, but did not provide one dime for better border security to protect American citizens.
And that, my friends, was just Day One of the new Democrat House!

I waited all day for newly sworn-in Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who couldn't wait until he was sworn in to attack Donald Trump, to say something about any of these outrages. But all I heard was crickets.

There was one thing I saw yesterday that reminded me of the great reservoir of courage we still have in this country. It was a picture of Representatives Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Jim Baird (R-IN) and Brian Mast (R-FL) together on the House floor. The caption read, "5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American."

Rep. Crenshaw lost his eye in Afghanistan. Rep. Baird lost his arm in Vietnam. Rep. Mast lost his legs in Afghanistan.

Trump Speaks - President Trump surprised reporters at the White House late yesterday afternoon by delivering an impromptu press conference. He began by congratulating Nancy Pelosi on her second term as speaker and expressed his hope that they could find areas of agreement for the good of the country.

Then, with most of the networks carrying his comments live, he turned the podium over to representatives of the Border Patrol. Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, spoke first. He said:

"I've been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years. I can personally tell you . . . that physical barriers, that walls actually work. . . I promise you that if you interview Border Patrol agents, they will tell you that walls work. . .

"Anywhere that you look, where we have built walls, they have worked. They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border. We need those physical barriers, and we appreciate President Trump and all of his efforts in getting us those physical barriers."


The next person who spoke was Art Del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. He told reporters:

"We are all affected by this shutdown. We have skin in the game. However, it comes down to border security. . . and we fully support what [President Trump] is doing to take care of our nation's borders. . . You all got to ask yourself this question: If I come to your home, do you want me to knock on the front door, or do you want me to climb through that window?"

Next was Hector Garza, also a vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, who addressed the criminals who are regularly apprehended attempting to cross the border. Agent Garza said:

"We're talking about murderers, rapists, people that commit very serious crimes in this country. . . These criminal aliens that have been released from jail, that have been deported, will come right back into the United States. However, if we had a physical barrier, if we had a wall, we would be able to stop that. . . And again, we ask our congressmen to fund border security and fund the border wall."

If you missed this press conference, watch it here. Share it with your friends and family members.

Incredibly, some talking heads on MSNBC labeled the president's press conference a "stunt" and even suggested that Agents Del Cueto and Garza are the equivalent of skinheads because they happened to be bald and support the president's efforts against illegal immigration.

Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch owe President Trump and the men of the Border Patrol a huge apology. But I won't hold my breath.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Day One, Trump Speaks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Boulder Gun Owners Defiant Of Assault Weapon Ban

by Tom Knighton: The city of Boulder, Colorado thought it was going to make a firm stand against so-called assault weapons. It passed a controversial law that banned them inside the city.

Take that, gun owners!

Well, it seems that there are a lot of people in Boulder who aren’t remotely interested in rolling over and playing dead in the face of a tyrannical local government. Instead, they’re hoisting their middle fingers in a universally understood gesture of defiance. Metaphorically.

They’re doing something just a bit more productive.
Boulder’s newly enacted “assault weapons” ban is meeting with stiff resistance from its “gun-toting hippies,” staunch liberals who also happen to be devoted firearms owners.

Only 342 “assault weapons,” or semiautomatic rifles, were certified by Boulder police before the Dec. 31 deadline, meaning there could be thousands of residents in the scenic university town of 107,000 in violation of the sweeping gun-control ordinance.

“I would say the majority of people I’ve talked to just aren’t complying because most people see this as a registry,” said Lesley Hollywood, executive director of the Colorado Second Amendment group Rally for Our Rights. “Boulder actually has a very strong firearms community.”

The ordinance, approved by the city council unanimously, banned the possession and sale of “assault weapons,” defined as semiautomatic rifles with a pistol grip, folding stock, or ability to accept a detachable magazine. Semiautomatic pistols and shotguns are also included.

Current owners were given until the end of the year to choose one of two options: Get rid of their semiautomatics by moving them out of town, disabling them, or turning them over to police — or apply for a certificate with the Boulder Police Department, a process that includes a firearm inspection, background check and $20 fee.

Judging by the numbers, however, most Boulder firearms owners have chosen to do none of the above, albeit quietly.

“The firearms community in Boulder — they may be Democrats but they love their firearms,” said Ms. Hollywood, herself a former Boulder resident.
I can’t say I blame them.

Look, there’s a point that every individual has to determine if they want to remain law-abiding or are willing to become the outlaw. When it comes to guns, many of us are far more comfortable drawing a line in the dirt and saying, “No more.”

Ms. Hollywood is right. This is registration, and it’s something that should never exist in this country. Unfortunately, it does in several places, but it’s also up to individual gun owners to determine if they want to comply with the regulation.

For those who did comply, if the city turns around and decides all such weapons must go, guess what? They already know where some of them are. That’s the reason so many of us oppose registration. It facilitates confiscation. It always has and always will.

Here’s something for the anti-gun Left to consider. When you have wide-spread defiance in someplace like the People’s Republic of Boulder on a gun control law, you may want to check your assumptions about your constituents sharing your anti-gun views. I suspect quite a few Boulder residents with “Coexist” stickers on their Prius’s also have “Molon Labe” stickers on their gun safes.
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Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia.

Tags: Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms, Boulder Gun Owners, Defiant of, Assault Weapon Ban To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Must Not Include DACA “fix” In Exchange For Wall

. . . DACA compromise would undermine national security.
by Michael Cutler: The partial shut-down of the federal government grinds on while the Democrats, poised to assume the majority in the House of Representatives, refuse to fund a wall to secure the dangerous U.S./Mexican border against the un-inspected entry of people and cargo into the United States.

I am compelled to reiterate a point I have made repeatedly in past articles, that a wall along that problematic border would not stop a single person from entering the United States but would force all who seek to enter the United States to undergo the statutorily required inspections and vetting process that is conducted at ports of entry and to record entries or attempted entries by aliens for national security and related purposes.

President Trump has refused to sign off on a budget that does not fund the wall that would protect our nation. He has consequently opted to shut down non-essential elements of the federal government.

During the failed negotiations President Trump, in confronting a belligerent and recalcitrant Chuck Schumer, said that he would be proud to shut down the government if he could not get the funding for the wall. Schumer accused the President of throwing a temper tantrum. If anyone was throwing anything, I would accuse Mr. Schumer and his cohorts of throwing America and Americans under the proverbial bus. What has never been asked of Schumer, Pelosi and the other Democrats is why they would not want a wall to prevent the un-inspected entry into the United States, of illegal aliens including criminals, fugitives, terrorists, gang members and massive quantities of narcotics and other contraband.

As I noted above, the purpose of the wall is not to seal off the United States from Mexico but to simply prevent aliens and contraband from entering the United States without inspection. That inspections process is essential to vet aliens to prevent the entry of those whose presence in the United States would be problematic and/or dangerous to America and Americans. In point of fact, the decisions of the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Inspectors who conduct those inspections are guided by 8 U.S. Code § 1182, a section of law comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), that enumerates the categories of aliens who are not to be admitted into the United States. Among the categories of aliens who are to be excluded are those suffering from dangerous contagious diseases or suffer from severe mental illness. Additionally, aliens who were previously deported, are criminals, terrorists, spies, fugitives from justice, human rights violators, war criminals, human traffickers, and aliens who would likely become public charges or take jobs of Americans.

The Democrats insist on using technology to secure the border. Trump properly observed that sometimes old solutions are the best and noted that wheels have been around for many, many years. Indeed, hi-tech “solutions” to border security would not stop any illegal aliens from entering the United States in the first place but only, hopefully, detect aliens after they penetrated our borders. Once in the United States--aided and abetted by judges who have consistently over-reached their authority—these illegal aliens would undoubtedly obstruct efforts to remove [deport] them. This would inspire more aliens, from countries around the world, to head for the United States where their sheer numbers would continue to increasingly overwhelm an immigration system that lacks the resources to effectively deal with the tens of millions of illegal aliens who are already present in the United States, in violation of our laws that were enacted to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be problematic or dangerous to America and Americans. I focused on this in a recent article, Why Trump’s Wall Is A Must, noting that a virtual fence would stop virtually no one!

One of the issues that has been noted in the news is the idea that perhaps a “compromise” could be reached between the administration and the Democrats to include a massive amnesty program under the aegis of DACA (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrival). This would be nothing short of catastrophic, compromising national security for decades to come.

Let’s briefly review the sordid history of DACA. DACA was a program concocted by the Obama administration to overcome the failure of Congress to pass a massive amnesty program known as Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the follow-up attempt to pass a massive amnesty program known as “The DREAM Act.” (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). It is noteworthy that for all of the howls that typically accompany any use of the term “Alien” to describe non-citizens present in the United States, the term Alien became incredibly palatable when it was needed to create legislation to legalize millions of heretofore illegal aliens! The concept behind the DREAM Act and DACA was to exploit the well-known empathy and compassion Americans have for children. Both of those efforts were sold as means of helping children who were brought to the United States by their parents. Ostensibly these children had no control over their parents’ actions and thus became victims. In order to qualify, these “young aliens” had to claim that they were brought to the United States illegally prior to their 16th birthdays but, under the DREAM Act could apply to participate in that program provided that they filed such an application before they became 35 years of age.

DACA which was enacted by Obama’s “magic pen” via executive order (executive caveat) in June 2012 would have required that the aliens made their applications prior to their 32nd birthdays. There would be millions of illegal aliens who could claim to have entered as children but inasmuch as they had entered without inspection, there would be no way to determine if any aliens had entered the United States 20 years ago or 20 days ago. In fact, aliens who have not yet left for the United States could make their way here and falsely claim to have been here for decades. There would be no way to interview all of these aliens, let alone conduct field investigations. This would literally rule out the red carpet for immigration fraudsters who could lie through their teeth and get away with it. These lies would constitute immigration fraud.

On June 17, 2012 Fox News published my Op-Ed in which I stated that what President Obama had referred to as an exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” should have been referred to as “prosecutorial deception.” In August 2018 I wrote an article, The Daca Sword Of Damocles that cited an excerpt from the official report, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel that focused on immigration-related vulnerabilities that the terrorists had exploited. Immigration fraud was determined to be of extreme significance. Here are two significant quotes from the report:“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.”

“Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.”
Immigration fraud would permeate any such massive amnesty program. As noted above, immigration fraud was the key method of entry and embedding for terrorists and not just where the 19 hijacker/terrorists who carried out the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 but in many terror attacks as well. The immigration system lacks the capability to carry out its current missions. Adding millions of additional applications to the overwhelmed system at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), which already adjudicates more than 6 million applications annually, would cause the beleaguered bureaucracy to implode. In the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11, our leaders constantly reminded us that in order to be successful, the terrorists need to “get it right” only once; while for America to be safe, our officials must “get it right” 100% of the time. In simple terms, every time an alien enters the United States and every time an application for an immigration benefit is filed, terrorists are provided with that one opportunity that they are eager to achieve to launch a deadly terror attack.

On June 22, 2007 the Washington Times published my Op-Ed Immigration bill a ‘No Go in which I voiced my concerns about Comprehensive Immigration Reform which are the same today about DACA. In that Op-Ed, nearly a dozen years ago, I suggested that a new and far more honest name be applied to that legislation. That title would work just fine for DACA today. DACA should be renamed the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”
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Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is michaelcutler.net. He also writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of the David Horowitz Freedom CenterDavid Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Michael Cutler, FrontPage Mag, President Trump, Must Not, Include DACA fix, In Exchange For Wall To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Think Things Are Bad Now? They Were Lots Worse in 1919

The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
by Michael Barone: The hundredth anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting of World War I in Europe came and went with surprisingly little notice last Nov. 11. Commemoration was muted for a conflict that took the lives of some 15 to 19 million soldiers and civilians -- estimates vary widely -- including, in just 19 months, more than 116,000 Americans.

Those were shocking numbers for a nation whose territory was untouched by enemies and whose population had just topped 100 million. The toll in blood helps explain why Western European leaders appeased Hitler in the 1930s and why overwhelming majorities of Americans were, until Pearl Harbor, opposed to entering a war -- in the World War I phrase -- "over there."

That's a standard view, but it glosses over a lot of history -- messy history that helps explain the responses to this war and puts some of our present tergiversations into useful perspective.

For the Armistice of November 1918 only ended the conflict in Western Europe, the scene of familiar trench warfare for most of the preceding four years. It did not end intensive fighting and domestic disorder elsewhere.

The sense of disorder was compounded by the influenza pandemic that may have started in troop-staging camps in 1917 and that swept the world through 1920, killing 675,000 in the United States in one year and 50 to 100 million worldwide. Fatalities peaked in October 1918 and were especially high among young adults. Last week saw the tragic death of Bre Payton, a 26-year-old writer for The Federalist, from flu-like symptoms. Multiply the tragic impact by hundreds and thousands to gauge the impact on people a century ago.

Full-scale fighting continued in Russia. American troops from Michigan were fighting in the far northern European Russia, while Czech volunteers and Japanese troops were patrolling the Trans-Siberian Railroad in Asia. They were aiding the White Russian troops who were fighting against the communists who had tenuously established themselves and their Red Army, led by the ferocious Leon Trotsky, in Petrograd. Despite the urgings of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and thanks to the fecklessness of President Woodrow Wilson, the Allied troops were withdrawn, and the Reds slaughtered the Whites.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire continued its persecution -- often considered a genocide -- of Armenians. A U.S. government commission actually recommended creation of an independent Armenia governed by the U.S., a request Congress denied. Turkey angrily rejected the Allies' Sevres treaty. It conquered the Armenians and in 1922-23 violently expelled hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks.

Other postwar treaties caused lingering problems. Germans' discontent with the Treaty of Versailles fueled Hitler's rise.  Harsh treatment of Hungary in the Trianon Treaty is still a grievance in Budapest today.

The war strained all the major economies and was followed by economic disasters -- terrifying deflation and what author James Grant calls a "forgotten depression" in the United States, with enormous wage cuts, layoffs, deflation and inflation. Government did little in response, partly because President Wilson suffered a disabling stroke in September 1919. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, the economy rebounded sharply in 1921 and thrived for eight years.

One of the hard things about writing history is understanding how things looked to people who didn't know what would happen next. Fear of violent revolution was rife in 1918 and 1919. Communist coups were attempted in Berlin, Munich and Budapest. Revolutionaries exploded deadly bombs on Wall Street and in front of the U.S. attorney general's house. Seattle suffered a general strike.

The response, mass arrests of radicals, has been ridiculed as a hysterical Red Scare. But people then didn't know that what was happening in Russia -- the installation of a communist regime that over 70 years killed tens of millions -- wouldn't happen elsewhere.

On New Year's Day, Walter Russell Mead of the Wall Street Journal described 2018's "biggest loser" as "the post-Cold War system that the U.S. and its closest allies hoped would shape global politics," which "buckled further" under "growing headwinds."

The centennial of years just after World War I should remind us that the West has faced far more furious headwinds, with far less in the way of guideposts and guardrails. American political parties then struggled to fashion responses, with the Democratic Party suffering as devastating a repudiation in the swirling postwar year of 1920 as the Republican Party would in the agonizing Depression year of 1932. Yet both parties managed to recover and become competitive again in good time.

As 2019 begins, it's tempting to regard current troubles as overwhelming and unprecedented. But America and its friends faced far more daunting challenges as 1919 began, one hundred years ago.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel and Washington Examiner contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Think Things Are Bad Now, Lots Worse in 1919 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump & The Post: Whose Side Is Mitt On?

by Patrick Buchanan: If there is a more anti-Trump organ in the American establishment than The Washington Post, it does not readily come to mind.

Hence, in choosing to send his op-ed attack on President Donald Trump to the Post, Mitt Romney was collaborating with an adversary of his party and his president.

And he knew it, and the Post rewarded his collusion.

“The president has not risen to the mantle of his office,” said Romney; in “qualities of character” Trump’s “shortfall has been most glaring.”

Our leaders must “inspire and unite us,” not “promote tribalism,” wrote Romney. We must defend the “free press.”

All music to Post ears.

As senator, Romney promised, “I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant.”

Sounds like a litany of media slanders against Trump, some of which, seven years ago, were lodged against a GOP presidential nominee whose name was Mitt Romney.

Thursday, the Post paid Romney in its special currency, with a Page 1 photo and headline about having discovered “a new voice of resistance.”

But Romney had not exactly pledged his life, fortune and sacred honor to dethrone the tyrant. Rather he declared, “I look forward to working on these priorities … with Mitch McConnell.”

A day later, The New York Times, perhaps miffed it had not been the beneficiary of Romney’s dump on Trump, dumped all over him:

“Romney Cools Fiery Tone After Trump Allies Assail Him,” ran the headline. A CNN interview, wrote the Times, found Romney “repeatedly declining to escalate his attacks on the president and explaining that he would only speak out against Mr. Trump on issues of ‘great significance.'”

Does Romney not see presidential character as an issue of “great significance”? The Washington Times said Romney appeared to be auditioning for the role of Jeff Flake in the new Senate.

Though the Romney screenplay seemed to fizzle after the early negative reviews, the episode is revelatory.

Clearly Romney senses Trump is in trouble, and may not survive, or may not run, and there may be an opening for him. He seems to want to be properly positioned with the anti-Trumpers and never-Trumpers, should that happen.

Yet, in seeing Trump as besieged, Romney is not wrong.

With loss of the House and resignation of his defense secretary, the president had a rough year’s end. Now the expectations of his enemies and the hopes of this hostile city for his fall are greater than ever.

Blood is in the water. If Trump seeks re-election, he will be challenged in the primaries. And as presidents from Truman to LBJ, to Carter, Ford and Bush 41 discovered, these can prove problematic.

Looking over to the other side of the aisle, however, that party, too, has problems. The more hot-headed of the House majority have already said they will introduce articles of impeachment against the president.

And when the militant members are rewarded by major media with favorable coverage and commentary, this will induce others to join in, in anticipation of the same media rewards.

An impeachment battle thus seems inevitable.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic leadership may see this rush to impeachment as a strategic blunder. But they will be unable to contain or control what will by spring resemble a mob.

Today, unelected media, not elected politicians, decide what gets attention. For our media, President Trump is the issue, as he was in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and removing him from the presidency the strategic goal.

But beyond the issue of Trump, 2019 looks to be a rough year for America. The deficit will reach a trillion dollars. National debt is near $22 trillion. The budget is out of balance. No consensus exists in Congress on how to deal with it.

If sanctions are not first lifted on North Korea, there will be no nuclear deal, and the probability grows that “Little Rocket Man” will begin anew to test his missiles and nuclear warheads.

With U.S. troops pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, the day is coming, and soon, when we must face up to and act upon these facts:

America lost both wars. Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban from whom we took it in 2003, and Bashar Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are, for the near-term, dominant in Syria.

As for our Kurdish allies, they will have to turn to Assad and offer to give him the Syrian lands they captured from ISIS, in return for the Syrian regime’s protection from the Turks.

And as for Russia and China, our great adversaries, our foreign policy elite succeeded in this century in undoing the best work of Nixon and Reagan.

Where those presidents split China from Russia and ensured that Beijing and Moscow would have better relations with us than with each other, our elite revels in that it has alienated both China and Russia — and united both against us.
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Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, President Trump, The Post, Whose Side, Is Mitt On, Mitt Romney To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Watch CNN Go DEFCON-1 Over Trump Pulling a Fast One On WH Press Corps

by Curtis Houck: This is what the liberal media not being able to control the narrative and what you, the public, know and don’t know. On Thursday afternoon, CNN’s The Lead threw a full-blown conniption after President Donald Trump appeared and then took no questions at a last-minute White House Press Briefing alongside National Border Patrol Council members.

Fill-in host Brianna Keilar immediately seemed bewildered, noting that the President was “pulling the spotlight back to the White House and to his point of view, but it's — he didn't even take questions.”


Never Trump Republican Bill Kristol replied by making the panel’s first of numerous slights against the border patrol, complaining that, when it comes to the government shutdown and Democratic Party efforts to end it: “Donald Trump can resist it by not addressing it, right? It's just — here are the border patrol guys and we need a wall, thank you.”

Keilar and The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich replied with disdain that encapsulated the liberal media-wide temper tantrum:KEILAR: To be clear, this is basically — this is a stunt. I mean, this isn't a briefing. So we thought there was going to — it was billed as a last-minute briefing. That — that was not a briefing, right? A briefing is questions. A briefing is more than just a political stunt which is what we just saw.

KUCINICH: It being held in the briefing room does not a briefing make. There should have been — yeah. This was a — this was a press availability, I guess, maybe, a photo-op, except there were words. I don't know. This was — but this was not — this was not substantive.
Kristol and fellow faux Republican Ana Navarro looked to dominate the conversation, so they voiced support for the party they claim to not be a part of and unleashed an ugly aversion to defending and securing our southern border, and standing up for the men and women who protect it: KRISTOL: Here's what it was. Donald Trump couldn't stand that Nancy Pelosi was the center of attention today. He can't stand the fact any other human being could get his or her day in the spotlight so he had to butt in at 4:30 in the afternoon. It's pretty disgraceful, don't you think? New Speaker of the House, a moving moment and he has to have a ludicrous stunt — sorry to drudge on you with some union officials who endorsed him.

ANA NAVARRO: It's exactly what it is. Like I said to you, it’s deflection, it’s distraction. He can't stand it that there's Democratic Woodstock going on in, you know, in the streets of Washington and Capitol Hill, this entire day. There's Democrats running around, you know, almost throwing glitter. There’s happiness. They’re ebullient, and, you know, he can't stand it. He doesn't want to hear about Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. He doesn't want to hear about the first Somali refugee, he doesn’t want to hear about the first African-American from Massachusetts or the first Latina from Texas or the fact there's 89 women swearing in as Democrats to the new Congress. It's driving him crazy so he needs to somehow be able to suck the oxygen out of the room.

KRISTOL: And he doesn’t want to hear about the government shutdown that he was going to take responsibility for.
Keilar then brought in White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins to talk about the “non-briefing” “stunt” and so the latter proceeded to give her best Jim Acosta impression. Here’s her comments in full:Well, it certainly wasn't a press briefing which is what the White House called it when they summoned the reporters up here so abruptly. There said there would be a press briefing with the Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, in the White House press briefing room and that's not what happened when they came out. Now, Sarah Sanders came out. There were a slew of other White House aides here, including the White House communications director, the White House social communications director and then all of these border patrol members behind the President and the President said they had been meeting in the Oval Office talking about the wall. Now, this is President Trump's first time in the press briefing room. He came up to the podium, he made that remark several time that it was his first time in there and, of course, that would lead you to assume that the question would take questions as the President's other predecessors have done in the past. Instead, he spoke about the wall, he invited them to come up and then took no questions from any reporters in the room on the government shutdown stretching into 13 days and then Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, also walked out behind the President and they did not take any questions from reporters. Now, this is something that is essentially unheard of. I'm not sure if the press secretary has ever come into the press briefing room before and not taken a single question from one reporter. Yes, we've had short briefings. Yes, they have been quick before and yes, they’re not very regular in their occurrences but typically they always take questions. That is not what happened here today, and the only thing that it can really remind you of the first time that when Sean Spicer was press secretary and the day after the President's inauguration when they summoned reporters pretty appruptly then. He came out here and shouted about the president's crowd size, saying it was the most attended inauguration ever and then turned away, went back through that door up to his office, and didn’t take any questions. That’s pretty much what just happened with Sarah Sanders and President Trump minus all the shouting that Sean Spicer did on that day. This was not a press briefing, Brianna.Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering claimed that also happened during the Obama administration, so that point is at best debatable.

Keilar refused to let the situation go, telling liberal political commentator Symone Sanders that “it’s just so incongruous what we saw happen in the briefing room” because “[t]hat’s the sort of thing what you might see in the Oval Office where the President might be meeting with some folks and the press is invited in.”

Sanders offered some tired talking points, followed by Kucinich and Navarro fretting that, well, the press was yet again played by the President.

“We've had an entire show where we were going to talk about oversight and we were going to talk about investigations and potential impeachment, and the attorney general of New York and instead for 30 minutes, we're talking about what Donald Trump wants to us talk about which is Donald Trump, his favorite subject in the world,” bemoaned Navarro.

After declining to entertain the idea of border security and claiming that a majority of Americans don’t want a border wall, Keilar concluded by siding with federal workers who aren’t named border patrol agents:Let's not talk about mentioned here, Jackie. He is not mentioning these Americans and these federal workers. 800,000 of them, and how many more people who rely on contract work with the government who are not getting paid, and a lot of these people are paycheck to paycheck. They need that check on January 11th and they are freaking out that they are not going to get it. They didn't mention it.Click to see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Lead on January 3.
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Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) currently serves as the Managing Editor of NewsBusters after almost two years as a news analyst in the Media Research Center’s News.

Tags: Curtis Houch, CNN, Defcin-1, over Trump, White House Press Corps To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Monitoring vs Securing . . .

. . . Some prefer high tech monitoring equipment over an actual barrier that will stop illegal aliens from entering our border.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Pelosi & Schumer Side With Illegal Aliens To Block The Wall . . .

. . . Over 38.6 Million American Food Stamp Recipients
by Robert Romano: At the end of the month, food stamp benefits will run out for 38.6 million recipients on account of the partial government shutdown. Right now, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program is being funded with previously appropriated dollars, but in February that will change as the Department of Agriculture remains unfunded for Fiscal Year 2019.

It could be resolved in five minutes. But it won’t be because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are siding with illegal aliens to block funding for the southern border wall.

Would they keep the border wide open so that drugs can be smuggled and gangs and human trafficking can run rampant rather than help needy families keep their children’s bellies full? Really?

Much of the crime brought on by illegal immigration disproportionately winds up in the very poorer communities that depend on food stamps.

We’re talking about 19.4 million households including 38.6 million individual recipients who receive $4.7 billion of SNAP benefits monthly.

There are also hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are going without pay for the duration of the shutdown. They have bills to pay, too.

Are Pelosi and Schumer willing to sacrifice them all on the altar of stopping the wall? It’s a choice, and it is their choice to make.

President Trump has already stated he won’t sign a spending bill that doesn’t fund the wall. Plus, he just issued the first veto threat of his presidency. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rightly said he won’t be acting on legislation that won’t become law.

But even if McConnell did let it pass in the Senate, Congressional Republicans in the House and the Senate appeared poised to sustain any veto Trump might issue.

So, that’s it.

In 2013, Republicans learned they could not impose their will on the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House. Back then, a Republican-controlled House did not get to pass legislation that excluded funding for Obamacare and when the government shut down over the dispute, it was deemed the House’s fault.

Perhaps Pelosi and Schumer are gambling that President Donald Trump and Republicans will get the blame politically by the media, but really, it will be their fault for blocking the only legislation that can get signed.

Right now, Republicans control the Senate and the White House. Democrats cannot impose their will, either. This one lands at the feet of the House, too, going by the same standard set up in 2013. Elections have consequences.

Or they had better, or else we truly live in a bipolar world where one set of rules apply to Democrats and another to Republicans.

Right now, Democrats are hoping to split Republicans by voting to fund everything but the Department of Homeland Security. The White House has again issued a veto threat of any package of bills that excludes the wall. The President needs to stick to that — and address the nation in a primetime broadcast to explain the human costs and tragedies at the border and across the country involved with not building the southern border wall.

Because, none of this is necessary. There’s a very easy way for Pelosi and Schumer to get the government funded: Build the wall. And fully fund it now, so we don’t have to have the same dilemma again in September. Put the country first.

There is already almost 700 miles of barriers, fences and walls along the southern border anyway. What’s another 300 miles or so?

Every budget is a matter of priorities, after all.

Is enabling illegal immigration, drugs and human trafficking with open borders worth it to compel tens of millions of American citizens go without food and hundreds of thousands of federal workers to go without pay? That is for Pelosi and Schumer to decide. This one’s on them.
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, Pelosi, Schumer, Side With Illegal Aliens, Block The Wall, Over 38.6 Million Americans, Food Stamp Recipients To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Unplanned

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Ashley Bratcher is the actress in the upcoming film, “Unplanned.” The story in the film is powerful, but so is her personal story.

The film will be out in March and tells about the conversion of Abby Johnson who was a clinic director for Planned Parenthood and became a pro-life activist. Ashley auditioned for the part and considered herself pro-life but admits she was certainly not an activist. However, as she read more about Abby Johnson and about Planned Parenthood, she was convicted and thrilled that she got the part.

When she got the call to play the role, she was told to pack for seven weeks and be ready to leave in a few hours. It all happened so quickly that she didn’t have time to tell family and friends why she left.

When her mother called her, she hesitantly answered because of their strained relationship. When Ashley was in high school, her mother shared with her that she had an abortion when she was 16. Three years later, she had Ashley.

As Ashley began to tell her mother the story about Abby Johnson and Planned Parenthood, her mother fell apart. She said, “I need to tell you something I’ve never told you before.” Through tears she confessed, “I was going to abort you.” In fact, she was on the table for an abortion when she changed her mind.

Ashley later called her father and asked if this story was true. He admitted that it was and added that they didn’t have enough money for the abortion, so he pawned a shotgun to pay for the abortion.

Ashley is so grateful that her mother believed her life was more valuable than the price of a pawned shotgun. Now she has a story to tell that is just about as powerful as the story she is telling about Abby Johnson in the upcoming movie, “Unplanned.”

When the film comes out, I encourage you to watch it and bring your friends. The story in the film is powerful, but so is the backstory of the actress in the film.
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Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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PayGo Piffle

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Republicans are especially good at deficit spending. Give them control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, and watch the money flow! It happened under George W. Bush, and now under President Donald Trump.

But note: the Democrats have gained control of the House of Representatives. We might see some restraint on government growth, if for no better reason than "divided government," in which the two major parties can more effectively do damage to each other's spending.

Nancy Pelosi, again Speaker of the House, has a monkey wrench to throw into Republican spending plans, not excluding that much-promised, little acted-upon Trump promise, "The Wall."

It is called "PayGo," or, in the Twittersphere, #PayGo.

Not something new (Democrats have used it before), the House rule aims to limit any new expenditures to equal cuts in old spending.

Effective? Well, in capping the deficit at a trillion dollars annually . . . until they vote for exceptions to the rule.

And effective enough to annoy Republicans!

And now, to rile up progressives, too.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has made a big deal about her opposition. She has opposed Pelosi's attempt to re-establish the rule.

Heedless of any danger that could result from further adding to the now-$22 trillion national debt, progressives scorn the idea of fiscal responsibility as "austerian," claiming the whole idea was somehow disproven by "economic history," in the Tweeted words of Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

The "real" beneficiaries would be the corporations, progs say, and that PayGo would work against the "progressive agenda" of increasing government programs without limit.

Typical political piffle.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
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Paul Jacob is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December and wage growth gained steam, marking a strong finish to 2018

A worker assembles the frame of a round baler at the
New Holland plant in New Holland, Pa.
(Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News/ Via Washington  Post)
by Danielle Paquette and Andrew Van Dam (The Washington Post): The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December, smashing expectations for year-end growth, and wages rose 3.2 percent in the year since December 2017 after nearly a decade of tepid improvements, federal economists reported Friday.

The unemployment rate crept up to 3.9 percent — the highest level since July, the Labor Department’s latest numbers showed.

That shouldn’t ring alarm bells, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, an international consulting firm. Some 400,000 more people began looking for work last month, signaling that higher pay could be motivating Americans who were previously on the bench to start seeking better opportunities.

“You’re bringing people back into the labor force," he said. "That’s a good thing.”

Altogether, 2018 was the best year for job creation since 2015. The economy added 2.6 million jobs, and the year closed with a slightly higher labor participation rate: 63.1 percent of Americans were working or looking for jobs in December, up from November’s 62.9 percent.

Bigger paychecks and better benefits are also inspiring people who work informally as caretakers, house fixers, website builders — freelance jobs that are often paid with cash — to seek more stable employment, said Michael Hicks, a labor economist at Ball State University in Indiana.

Companies tend to offer more appealing incentives as they struggle to fill vacancies.

“Employers are across the board complaining about keeping and retaining the workers that they want,” Hicks said. “Wage growth is a straightforward symbol of that.”

The December numbers follow a stretch of steady hiring across industries — particularly manufacturing, which had its biggest boost in about a decade. There were some exceptions, including retail and food services. And economists caution that the pace of hiring overall is expected to slow in 2019.

At this stage of the nine-year recovery, maintaining the streak that took off in 2014 is projected to become increasingly difficult. Trade tensions with China and other countries could accelerate this slowdown, since President Trump’s tariffs are raising the cost of doing business worldwide.

Those uncertainties are already playing out in the volatile stock market, but so far America’s labor market has remained robust.

Manufacturing, health care, retail and construction led December’s growth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also amended previous reports to show that more jobs were added — a common move after last year’s hurricanes scrambled the numbers, analysts said. November’s figure was revised up to 176,000 jobs from 155,000, while October’s gains grew to 274,000 from 237,000.

Trump celebrated the news on Twitter:
Labor Secretary Alec Acosta also applauded the numbers.

“This closes a very strong 2018. Positive news was widespread: 2.6 million new jobs created in the past twelve months, America’s average wage earnings are on the rise, 8 months of unemployment below 4%, and series low unemployment rates this year for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and those without a high school degree,” he said in a statement.

The latest BLS report doesn’t include the temporary job losses from the government shutdown, which began Dec. 22 and has suspended work for some 800,000 federal employees.

Last year started with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. The jobless rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September — the lowest since 1969.

Manufacturing experienced a major rebound, producing roughly 281,000 jobs. That’s the biggest annual upswing since the Great Recession and well above the 2017 figure (207,000).

Manufacturing combined with a surging oil and gas sector and steady growth in construction jobs to produce what looks to be the best year for blue-collar, goods-producing jobs since 2014.

There’s some question if the boom will continue, however. Crude prices have fallen for the past three months.

“We’re seeing two different economic realities right now,” said Martha Gimbel, research director for the Hiring Lab at Indeed, an employment website. “One is the stock market, which is going through something, and the other is the labor market, which has been chugging along.”

The typical worker’s year-over-year earnings grew by 3.1 percent in October — the biggest jump since 2009. Wage growth held to that pace in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But inflation ticked up in 2018, offsetting some of that bump.
If monthly job gains start shrinking in 2019, people shouldn’t panic, Gimbel said. Since 2010, 1 in 10 months have seen less than 100,000 new jobs added.

The economy needs to add 80,000 jobs a month just to maintain current staffing levels.

Trade tensions, however, will take a bite out of this year’s progress, he said, if Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping don’t reach a deal to end their dispute by their self-imposed March deadline.

“You’re going to see a slowdown in business investment and hiring, especially by large firms,” said Brusuelas, the RSM economist. “The large multinational firms derive roughly half of their revenues from the global sector.”

Apple pointed to the trade war Wednesday when it lowered its quarterly sales estimates for the first time in 15 years. Chief executive Tim Cook blamed tariffs and China’s slowing economy.

[Graphics: How healthy is Trump’s economy?]

Job growth has also slowed considerably in the lower-paying service sector in the first two years of the Trump presidency. The enormous retail trade industry, in particular, has suffered. Growth in federal, state and local government jobs, which had been picking up pace, tapered off.
Overall, however, 2018 was a year that shifted more power to workers, said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS, a hiring software firm.

As competition for employees intensified, companies expanded their search for hires. Workers who have struggled with disproportionately high joblessness found more opportunities.
Black Americans started the year with an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent; by November, that figure had dropped to 5.9 percent. The jobless rate for Hispanics fell from 5 percent to 4.5 percent.

“Employers were stretching to meet new people and invest in people,” Wright said. “There’s a lot to cheer for.”
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Danielle Paquette is a reporter focusing on national labor issues & Andrew Van Dam covers data and economics at the The Washington Post which provided this article to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: U.S. Economy, added 312,00 jobs, in December, Wage Growth gained, Danielle Paquette, Andrew Van Dam, The Washington Post To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Government Shutdown: Money, Money Everywhere, But Not a Drop for a Wall

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: This is not our first partial government shutdown. Somehow, someway, from 1976 through 2017, the nation has survived 18 shutdowns, the longest lasting 21 days. In this case, President Donald Trump insists that the next budget deal contain $5 billion to construct a wall on part of our southern border with Mexico.

Trump, say the Democrats, is “unwilling to compromise.” But when he asks for only $5 billion for a project with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimated price tag of $18 billion spent over 10 years, that is already a compromise. That $18 billion amounts to 0.0338 percent of the $53 trillion the Congressional Budget Office estimated the federal government will spend from 2018 through 2027.

For a few days, Trump dropped his demand for wall funding, angering much of his base. Did the likely next speaker of the house, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., applaud Trump’s “bipartisanship” and his “willingness to reach across the aisle”? Hardly. Left-wing cable pundits mocked Trump as having “caved” on a campaign promise due to the supposedly shrewd negotiating skills of the Democrat leadership. A Vanity Fair article called Trump’s retreat a “capitulation.” When Trump reversed his reversal, the same critics promptly accused him of yielding to the demands of “right-wing” television and radio hosts.

The late President George Herbert Walker Bush knew the feeling. When he violated his “no new taxes” pledge, did Dems praise this “compromise” as an example of how “both sides can work together to get things done” on behalf of the American people? Please. James Carville, Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign manager used it against Bush, calling it “the most famous broken promise in the history of American politics.”

The media has taken to calling the southern border wall “Trump’s wall” or “his” wall, as if it were devoid of usefulness in slowing down illegal border-crossers. When Republicans began calling President Barack Obama’s health care plan “Obamacare,” some Democrats called this personalization “racist.” MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said, “The word (Obamacare) was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments.” Would these be the same “wealthy white men” who, in the 1990s, referred to Hillary Clinton’s health care plan as “Hillarycare”?

Some Democrats denounce the border wall as “racist.” Pelosi called the wall — and Trump’s plan for a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “dreamers” — a “hateful anti-immigrant scheme” designed to advance the president’s agenda to “make America white again.” This pushes the left’s narrative that not only is Trump racist, but so are the Republicans who voted for him. This attack has been effective. A recent Axios poll finds that 61 percent of Democrats believe Republicans are “racist/bigoted/sexist,” while 31 percent of Republicans feel that way about Democrats.

Beyond “racist,” say many Democrats, the wall is “wasteful” and “ineffective.” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said, “Democrats are certainly happy to talk about border security, but we’re not going to build this stupid vanity wall of Donald Trump’s with U.S. taxpayer dollars.” He called the wall “inefficient, wasteful technology.” Pelosi said: “(The wall’s) the wrong thing to do. It doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s a waste of money.”

News bulletin: Democrats base legislation on efficiency and effectiveness?!

Fine, let’s examine the massive spending that’s occurred since President Lyndon Johnson’s so-called war on poverty, an effort launched in the mid-’60s. In the following five decades, according to The Heritage Foundation, taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion in this effort. The result? Poverty, trending down in America before the mid-’60s, reversed itself. Poverty among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960. Five years into Johnson’s “war,” America’s poverty rate declined to 12.1 percent. But within a few years, poverty reversed course and increased to 15 percent, where it has more or less remained. This “war” led to greater government dependency and increased fatherlessness as a growing number of single mothers, in essence, married the government. Has the “war on poverty” passed the efficiency test?

Then there’s Obama’s nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” plan that failed to achieve its own unemployment reduction targets. Ditto his “Cash for Clunkers,” “Cash for Caulkers” and “green-tech” programs, which have cost taxpayers billions of dollars while failing to achieve their objectives.

Obama, after insisting he lacked authority, used an executive order to create Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — even though immigration law is up to Congress. But Trump can’t use $5 billion from this year’s $700 billion defense budget for a down payment on a border wall for national security, the principal job of the commander in chief?
--------------
Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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